This strange line-up is some of what I've been reading recently:
The David Suzuki Reader: A Lifetime of Ideas from a Leading Activist and Thinker. Like most Canadians, I know David Suzuki best for The Nature of Things, the CBC TV show he has hosted for the past 30 years or so. This book shows more of his environmental activist side. Lots of folks are talking about global warming, but unlike others (I'm talking to you Al Gore), Suzuki goes deeper to the root causes -- our flawed economic system, and notions of technological progress and human superiority over nature.
The Essential Mary Midgley. Mary Midgley is an ethics/moral philosopher who is well known in the UK as a social critic. The main themes of her work are on human nature and ethology, on applying moral philosophy to current events, and on philosophy of science. She writes incisively about science and its mythologies -- how science isn't just this abstract mechanical method that produces inevitable knowledge, as we're supposed to believe. It's shaped by human concerns and beliefs that often fit the criteria of religion.
World, Beware! American Triumphalism in an Age of Terror by Theodore Roszak (buy it from the publisher, Between the Lines). There has been a booming industry in liberal books since Bush Jr. took over, and most of them are not terribly deep or surprising. Roszak gets beyond the trivial Bush bashing to tell what's really been happening in the past 20 years -- the neo-conservative agenda to realign the world to follow American corporate rule. The book did not find a publisher in the US, and this first English edition was published in Canada (you can make of that fact what you will, which the blurbage encourages a little too much, I think). So the book is couched as a warning to the rest of the world to beware of this emerging new colonialism. This might sound like shrill, conspiracy material, but Roszak isn't a crank; he's a well-established and respected social critic. His case here is intelligent, thoughtful, and convincing.
JPod: A Novel by Douglas Coupland. And on a lighter note... I read this over the holiday weekend. Despite the bad reviews, and never being attracted to a Douglas Coupland book before, I was drawn in by the subject matter -- video games and the lives of a group of cubicle computer nerds (described realistically as "mildly autistic"). This demographic is one I'm painfully familiar with. It's a funny, quick read, and held my attention better than I expected -- no doubt because the characters are (thankfully) far more interesting than your average nerds.